This week’s featured painter is Sharon Cummings, a Florida-based artist whose series of abstract black and white paintings are absolutely incredible.
In fact, as soon as I saw Sharon’s work I loved it, and decided to mention the three things that make this particular series of hers especially good.
The first, and possibly most prominent element in her work, is movement.
In each of her black and white paintings Sharon creates a powerful sense of movement using many, many cohesive lines. Some are thick, others are thin, but when all are moving the same direction or placed within a similar pattern, the overall flow of her compositions becomes very strong.
Sharon’s forms are mostly organic, using curves (which are often stronger indicators of motion than straight lines) to pull the eye either towards a single focal point or back and forth along a path of visual interest—which leads me to the second aspect of Sharon’s black and white paintings.
Visual interest in this series is created almost entirely from Sharon’s use of texture, whether made up of overlapping lines, sheer veils of gray, or cloudy shadows giving the illusion of depth.
Similar to black and white photography, black and white paintings are more limited in the number of ways they can appeal to viewers: lacking color, texture takes on a much more important role.
In these paintings, you could almost say that the texture IS the color. And that leaves me with just one more thing to mention—contrast.
Side-by-side, pure black and pure white are an intense combination, and it’s what makes Sharon’s work so powerful.
In art, contrast is like the volume knob on a stereo, and Sharon has hers turned all the way up. Sometimes that can be distracting, but when paired with such beautiful, fluid forms, it simply makes a greater impact. . . and leaves a longer lasting impression.
To see more of Sharon Cummings’ black and white paintings (along with many colorful abstracts she’s created) make sure to check out her online gallery.
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